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What To Expect During Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT Treatment)

Hyperbaric Oxygen Intro

We treat many conditions at The Oxford Center. Treatment sessions last 74-80 minutes. This depends on the condition, the severity, and the protocol written by our medical department. There are several types of chambers that are used in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy; however, The Oxford Center utilizes state-of-the-art hard sided monoplace (single person) chambers and the use of 100% pure medical grade oxygen. Each patient is given a specific protocol based on their medical history and the condition they are being treated for. At The Oxford Center, patients typically start at lower pressures and gradually increase to the goal pressure. 

Hyperbaric Chambers

The Experience

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a non-invasive, often relaxing therapy. During the first 7-10 minutes of your treatment, you may get the feeling that your ears need to pop, like the sensation you would get while on an airplane. Your technician can show you techniques to quickly alleviate that feeling.  

After the first 7-10 minutes, you should feel completely comfortable. For the next 60 minutes you will be able to relax, watch television, listen to music, or simply rest. During the last 7-10 minutes of your session, you may feel a crackling/popping sensation in your ears. There is no need to try to clear your ears during this time. If your ears feel full, just move your jaw, or take a drink to help. 

Most people do not experience any after-effects from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. If you feel anything is out of the ordinary, please inform the staff.  

Preparing for Your First Dive

Before Therapy

You’ll want to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled dive session. For your first dive, your nurse will meet you at the front desk to assist you in checking-in and will walk you back to the changing area. Your nurse will help you find 100% cotton scrubs to wear during your session. You are able to keep your undergarments on. Your nurse will also assign you a locker to keep your belongings in. Once changed, your nurse will lead you to the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy room to meet your HBOT Technician. 

During Therapy

Your technician will greet you and show you to your chamber. Your technician may take vital signs depending on which condition you are treating for. Your technician will also explain the entire process for your first and future dives, as well as ask which program you’d like to watch on your TV. The Oxford Center has a vast DVD collection and nearly every streaming service available. Your chamber has a phone that allows your technician to speak to you through your chamber throughout the entire therapy session. Just simply knock on the clear glass at any point to receive attention. Our technicians are all board certified in hyperbarics and are very experienced in helping patients work though concerns or fears they may have about diving. 

After Therapy

Once your therapy is finished, your technician will start to depressurize your chamber. This process will take approximately 7-10 minutes. Once your chamber is fully depressurized, your technician will open the door and roll your bed out of the chamber. You can then change back into your regular clothes, store your scrubs in your locker and resume normal activities for the day.

Common Questions and Guidelines

Here are some common questions, company guidelines, and policies for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

What should you wear in the chamber?

You will be supplied 100% cotton scrubs to wear during your HBOT sessions. You are allowed to keep your undergarments on. You will be provided with a locker to keep your belongings in while you are diving. You can keep your scrubs for the entire week, storing them in your locker, and discarding them in the laundry hamper at the end of the week. 

Items you may not take into the chamber:

  • Shoes
  • Hair Gel
  • Jewelry
  • Perfume
  • Watches
  • Batteries
  • Chewing Gum
  • Candy or Food
  • Cough Drops
  • Hairspray
  • Cigarettes/Vaping Devices
  • Medications and/or patches
  • Newspapers/Books
  • Metal objects
  • Coins or money
  • Mobile phones
  • Thermal pads (hand warmers)
  • Hearing Aids
  • Lotion or Oils
  • Electronics
  • Nail polish
  • Stockings
  • Matches
  • Make-up
  • Lighters
  • Keys
  • Wigs

Can I bring a book or phone into the chamber?

No, you are not able to bring any electronic devices, books, or newspapers of any kind into the chamber. However, The Oxford Center has an extensive DVD collection and subscriptions to nearly every streaming service offered for you to watch on your TV. Naps are also a great idea!

Should I shower before my dives?

A shower is always a good idea, but be sure to not apply any lotions, essential oils, makeup, hair products, perfumes or colognes after your shower.

What if I get claustrophobic or anxious during my Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment?

Claustrophobia and anxiety do not often happen in our chambers as they are made with very clear glass so that they do not feel confined. However, if this were to happen to a patient, simply knock on the glass to notify your technician. Our technicians are trained to help walk patients through these struggles. If you still feel that this is too much to handle, your technician will depressurize your chamber and bring you out.

Are there any reasons I should cancel a treatment?

There are a few reasons listed below in which a patient would be encouraged to cancel a treatment. Be sure to run any concerns by your nurse prior to canceling.

  • Recent ear surgery or inner ear issue, such as an ear infection.
  • Recent eye surgery
  • Current respiratory or sinus infections

How do I communicate with my HBOT technician?

Communicating with your technician is easy! Each chamber has a phone that will allow your technician to speak with you directly. Simply tap on the glass to gain your technicians attention, and they will come over and pick up the phone.

Will I be able to use the restroom while in the chamber?

Patients are encouraged to use the restroom prior to getting into the chamber.

Will I experience any pain or discomfort while in the chamber?

You should not feel any discomfort during treatment. If you do, please notify your technician immediately 

Can I eat or drink while in the chamber?

Patients are encouraged to eat before scheduled dives as HBOT will speed up your metabolism. Patients cannot take food into the chamber, but a water bottle will be provided. We do not recommend drinking large amounts of fluids before your session. 

All other questions or concerns.

Every HBOT patient at The Oxford Center will have a registered nurse that will see you from your initial discovery session all the way through your final Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy dive. They will reach out to you several times throughout your journey and are always available for questions or concerns.